Tuesday’s are very busy at Kali Mata Mandir (Hindu Temple) in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Craigieburn as a large number of people come for daily Bhandara (food for all).
Tuesday three weeks ago was no different when female Priest Bhawna completed her daily rituals and set to have prasad at the end of bhandara around 3 PM.
Bhawna just had few bites and her phone rang. It was a call from “No caller Id” (people who don’t want to display their number use this function in Australia). Priest Bhawna receives multiple calls like this from temporary migrants/international students enquiring if the bhandara still going.
“I thought the group of students studying in nearby university got late and now want to know if they can still make it.”Priest Bhawna told The Australia Today
But this phone call was different, it changed the life (for worse) of temple management including Priest Bhawna.
Bhawna asked the caller, who was calling and what does he want?
The person told her in Punjabi language, I am calling because I am your well wisher.
“He questioned, are you doing a bhajan evening with an Indian singer named Kanhiya Mittal?”
“Yes, we are doing a big bhajan-kirtan (Hindu prayers) programme on 4th March and almost five thousand devotes will attend but you need to call other number for any sponsoring enquiries,” Bhawna replied.
Bhawna told The Australia Today, “We were receiving a lot of calls regarding sponsoring the programs, I thought he was also enquiring about the seva.”
“Caller said in a threatening tone with a (Amritsar-Jalandhar accent in Punjabi language)
“You listen carefully, cancel your singers bhajan-puja programme otherwise get ready to face consequences.”
“I was stunned by what I just heard,” Bhawna recalled.
Bhawna told the caller, “Bhai ji, we have been preparing for it for last few months, have spent so much money with support from our devotes, we can’t cancel it.”
“Tannu pata hai vo banda kattar Hindu hai, vo aaya to panga ho jana hai mandir te,”caller said in Punjabi language.
Translation: “Do you know your singer is staunch Hindu, If he comes, a fight is sure at the temple.”
Bhawna told The Australia Today, “I pleaded with him, bhai ji this is Ma Kali’s (Hindu Goddess Kali) place even Guru Maharaj (Guru Govind Singh) used to pray her, why would someone come and fight here.”
“Caller said, Saddha kaam tennu cheta dena siga, hun tui jo marji karo. Sannu jo karna hai aasi vikha dene hain”
“My job is to warn you if you don’t listen its up to you. We will show you what we can do”
Bhawna told The Australia Today, “I could not belive my ears that someone can really threaten a place of worship from conducting a religious programme in Melbourne.”
Kali Mata Mandir (Hindu Temple) is a place for spiritual solace for almost Hundred thousand devotees living in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
It’s Hindu festival programs draw big crowds for last several years.
Bhawna told The Australia Today, “Next couple of days were very tough as we came across the news of three Hindu temples vandalised with anti-hindu graffiti by Khalistan supporters.”
“I with one other person went to Craigieburn Police station to make formal complaint,” said Priest Bhawna.
“Sergeant Nathan took our complain and reassured us that they will take rounds of our street every half an hour on 4th March programme day.”
“I told at the police station that they need to ensure security of our devotes who are coming from Sydney, Adelaide and regional areas of Victoria and New South Wales.”
A worried Bhawna told The Australia Today, “We have arranged boarding and food for free for anyone who is travelling to Melbourne to attend the bhajan puja (prayer) program and hope police ensures the safety.”
Earlier, the Indian-Australian community was dismayed with three of its most iconic Hindu temples outside the Indian subcontinent vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti.
The vandalism of the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs came just within a week of anti-India and anti-Hindu graffiti smeared on the walls of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Mill Park.
This act of vandalism came to notice on Monday 16th January morning when Temple devotees came for ‘darshan’ as three days long “Thai Pongal” festival is being celebrated by the Tamil Hindu community.
The Australia Today has also revealed how Khalistan supporters recorded a video of their despicable and disrespectful act at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. And soon, the social media accounts started sharing the images and videos claiming it to be their brave act against Indian-Australian Hindus.
Khalistan supporters have allegedly written praises of an Indian terrorist Bhindrawale on the walls of all the Hindu temples. Bhindrawale was responsible for killing more than twenty thousand Hindus and Sikhs.
India was rocked by Khalistan terrorism through the 1980s with thousands of innocent Hindus and Sikhs killed in Punjab by Khalistani terrorists who were allegedly supported by Pakistan’s intelligence agency the ISI.
These Khalistani terrorists wanted a separate state for the Sikhs carved out only from Indian Punjab leaving no one in doubt about who was pulling the strings. While Khalistan terrorism was brought to an end by India within its territory almost thirty years ago, some groups of Khalistani separatists and their supporters have remained active in some western countries allegedly with support from Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in aviation history before 9/11, 329 people were killed by Khalistani terrorists on Air India flight 182 which was flying from Montreal to Mumbai via London and New Delhi on this very day 37 years ago.
The terrorists planted a bomb on the flight which blew up mid-air while flying from Montreal to London killing everyone on board. Among those killed were 268 Canadian citizens, 27 British citizens and 24 Indian citizens.
Note: The Australia Today has connected multiple stakeholders for comments, we will update the story as it happens